Kyle Hendricks, who struggled in his most recent start, is heading to the IL. Thankfully, Adbert Alzolay is primed and ready to make his Chicago Cubs debut.
Kyle Hendricks, for all intents and purposes, is the co-ace of this Chicago Cubs staff. While Jon Lester is a warrior and bulldog, Hendricks has been just as lion-mettled and productive since bursting onto the scene with the Cubs five years ago. His ability to consistently get guys out without throwing much harder than 89 mph most nights has been dissected, questioned and ultimately marveled at.
That ability to just get guys out is what makes losing Hendricks to (hopefully mild) shoulder inflammation in the middle of a tough road trip so incredibly difficult for the Cubs. Hendricks has been phenomenal again this year, going 7-5 with a 3.36 ERA and being especially dominant in the month of May, where he went 4-0 with a 1.81 ERA in six starts. In addition to being good this year, he’s also worked deep into ball games, going at least seven innings in seven of his 14 starts so far this year. If you’ve been watching the Cubs this year, you already know the bullpen has needed Hendricks to eat all of those innings.
With the soft-tossing right-hander now on the shelf for at least 10 days, the question becomes, who will the Cubs use to take his turn in the rotation? While the Cubs called up Rowan Wick immediately to join the bullpen in Los Angeles, the whispers about Adbert Alzolay making his first big league start may become deafening over the next week.
Chicago also boasts a couple of guys in their bullpen who have started some games at the big league level in Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery. So, who’s it gonna be when Hendricks’ spot rolls around next week?